Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Duties of the Heart

Duties of the Heart is available from Amazon
written by
R. Bachya Ben Joseph ibn Pakuda (also known as Beḥay and Baḥie)
in Arabic and translated into Hebrew by 
R. Jehuda ibn Tibbon
Translated into English by Daniel Haberman
Feldheim Publishers, N.Y. 1999
purification of the heart and on the possibility of having communion with God, in the heart through prayer, and not merely by the fulfillment of the commandments in an outward

Of course we know that the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings are full of this teaching. Particularly the Book of Psalms is a text that vividly portraits not only the commandment and the need of having a change of heart, i.e., inner personal sanctification, but it actually unveils the experience of King Prophet David and other psalmists while going through this process and through all the stages of the spiritual life, as described by our Orthodox saints, Fathers, monastics and ascetics.

R. Bachya wrote his 'Duties of the Heart' in 1040 c.e. He was a dayyan, a judge at the rabbinical court. In his book he very eloquently makes the observation that unfortunately 
the outward fulfillment of the law, is often not preceded by a holy disposition of  the heart. He writes,

"The wisdom of the Torah (the Pentateuch or the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomycan be divided into two parts: knowledge of the 'duties of the limbs', i.e, wisdom that is manifested externally; and knowledge of the 'duties of the heart', duties which belong to the hidden, private realm of the heart; it is the wisdom of the inward life", p.7 

Bachya laments that he could not (among Jewish writings) "find a book devoted to the knowledge of the inward life" p.11. He writes, "This came as a shock to me, and I began
to wonder : Perhaps these duties are not obligatory"...

"But when I investigated the matter...from the point of view of reason, Scripture and tradition, I found them (the duties of the heart) to be the basis of all the commandments!
If they were to be undermined, there would be no point to any of the duties of the limbs." 

Bachya  writes, "Once I became convinced, based on what has been presented here, of the need for the duties of the heart and of the obligation that we have to fulfill them; after observing that they have been was one of God's graces upon me that He moved me to investigate the knowledge of the inner life.". p.31

I am so moved by the writer's warmth of heart, by his devotion to God and by his humble zeal and compassion. This text is a love letter, an encomium to each and every person seeking righteousness and holiness in the spirit of meekness.

I find it striking, that Baysha writing in the 11th century, like St John Climacus who writes the Ladder of Divine Ascent at the beginning of the 7th; traces a starkly similar path towards the learning of the 'duties of the heart', the progression in virtue. 

Baysha is a great observer of human behavior, like St John, and like him; notes many of the same 'gates' (steps, in the Ladder) such as that there is One God, reflection on creation, service, trust in God, devotion, prayer, humility, fear of God, repentance and abstinence from selfish desire i.e. the right ordering of the powers of the soul, mainly the intellect (and by his text I believe he is referring to what we, in Greek, would call the nous), which should rule over base desires and anger.

Bachya encourages anyone who is trying to learn the duties of the heart,  from the very beginning, by saying that"What he cannot realize in deed he should master in knowledge, express longing for, in his speech and yearn for, in his heart. (Duties of the Heart 8:2). p.III

The end of this journey is, as we know, love of God. Then the Word of the Lord will be fulfilled in us as He spoke to His Prophet Ezequiel, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them." Ezequiel 36:26-27 NKJV

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hieromonk Basil, Monk Therapont and Monk Trophim, Martyrs of the Optina Monastery near Kozelsk, Russia

Available here

Thou Hast Proved Me, O God and Knowest.....The Life of Hieromonk Vasily
Originally pubished by the Brotherhood of St Cyprian, Moscow, in
cooperation with Optina Monastery, 2002
English translation by a nun of St Xenia Skete, Wildwood, CA
Copyright @ 2009 by Christ the Saviour Brotherhood Publishing

Russian Orthodox believers were shocked when, on Pascha morning in 1993, three young monks, were brutally murdered at Optina Monastery. The story of the martyric deaths of Fr. Vasily, Fr. Ferapont and Fr. Trofim spread throughout the country, which was then (and still is) undergoing a powerful resurgence of Orthodox life after years of represion.

In 'Thou hast Proved Me, O God and Knowest...'the reader comes to know Fr. Vasily through the remembrances of friends and family and through his own writings. His life provides insights into the struggles of a convert, because although baptized in infancy, Fr. Vasily returned to the Church as an adult. It also sheds light on contemporary Russian society and monasticism. (From the backcover)

The Writings of Hieromonk Vasily

On Repentance
What do I resemble when desiring to overcome my pride? I resemble a man trying to move a mountain with his own hands. I use all my knowledge and apply all my strength. I can see that my desire is unattainable-the mountain remains unmovable, but I do not give up my labors. I can see the futility of my efforts. I cry over my helplessness, lament over the impossibility of fulfilling my intention.

Despondency clouds the mind, sloth binds the body, and
hopelessness wounds the heart. "What is it all for?" these passions ask me, "No one needs your labor." And I reply, "It is needed for God Himself is helping me in it!"

Why do the same words, which yesterday I did not even
notice, today astound me by their magnitude and wisdom, so much so that I want to hold them forever in my heart? It is because of the inconstancy of my heart. Yesterday it was like ice, and therefore everything sophisticated and austere made it ecstatic, while today it is like melting snow, that rejoices in light and warmth. What takes place in the depth of my heart where neither my sight nor my mind penetrates? There, like the sun with its sunrises and sunsets, repentance is born and dies.

It is frightening to see in yourself a readiness to commit any of the most onerous sins. This is a bottomless abyss, a hellish precipice; it is eternal torment and death. Seeing this in yourself, you must always and unceasingly call out for help and mercy. I live, and I uphold faithfulness only outwardly, by God's mercy, but the Lord sees my infirmity and does not allow circumstances and burdens beyond my strength.

While washing yourself in the bathhouse, think: "I am
preparing my body for burial, washing and anointing it,"
and, "as I wash the dirt from my body, so do Thou also,
O Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me" (Ps. 50:10). In this way you will always conquer the indulgence of your body.

When you judge someone else, you [must] pray thus: after all, Lord, it is I who have sinned. Forgive me and have mercy on me!

By the waters of Babylon, there have we sat down and we wept (Ps. 136:1) The rivers of Babylon flow from my heart-the rivers of judgement of my brothers, ambition; the rivers of faintheartedness, fear and dread before various obediences; rivers of self-pleasing and self-pity; rivers of love of glory and anger, despondency, laziness, sadness; the rivers of all impurity, blasphemy, faithlessness, cunning, and uncleanness. I sit by my heart and weep over the endless flow of these rivers. Underground abysses feed these rivers, and the rivers of my passions feed the bottomless gulf of my sinful heart.

Lord! It is an abyss, the abyss of hell. In it there is no
support, no comfort. All is clamor, all is wickedness, all
is emptyness. God, in Thy name save me and give me
Thy hand, as Thou didst to Peter.

Don't you see how daily you add sin to sin? Why do you
return every day to the slimy excrement of your passions and vices?

Don't you see how everything you do reproaches you, your ignorance, impurity of mind and heart, your imperfection? Everything you have-your deeds, thoughts and feelings-are detrimental, flawed, mixed with vice and impurity; all is impoverished and orphaned.

Don't you see how the passions surround you and play with you, handing you around to each other? Don't you see how they leave you alone for a time and, standing a little distance away, watch how you, a weak person give yourself over to vainglory, forgetfulness, carelessness? 

They laugh, because one touch from them is enough to destroy all your peace and quiet and make it disappear; they laugh, because you are their inheritance, their slave, even a slave who thinks himself free. The sight of a slave with such high self-opinion, considering himself to be a master, gives them particular pleasure. Do you see your sin-flowing heart? How it slanders your brothers, all people, the entire world, night and day?

Heal me, Lord! Seal the flow of impurity, sin and vice.
Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 50:10). Because of my deeds I deserve eternal torments, but the Lord secretly nourishes a hope in my soul for His mercy. Otherwise it would be beyond my strength for me to live.

St Poemen the Great said, "Believe me, children, wherever Satan is, there will I be". He did not only think this way, he felt it.

The Lord allows you to see your heart as it slanders the
brothers-the Lord, and the whole world, day and night.
Then you see all the imposibility of correcting yourself,
the endlessness of your fall, the abyss of hell. Then you
quite admit that wherever Satan is, there will you be.
This is an awareness, a thought. But for St Poemen the
Great, it was a feeling. The difference is like night and
day. Therefore you only lament over your sinfulness,
while St Poemen the Great pours forth endless tears.
His soul felt the reality of the torments of hell and knew

On Love
We need to love everyone as we love ourselves, and be
ready for death at any hour.

But another thing is possible: to love your neighbour as
yourself, to pray for him as for yourself; thus, seeing that
the sins of your neighbour are your sins, you descend into hell with these sins for the sake of your neighbour's

"Lord, Thou gavest me love and changed everything for me, and now I cannot act in any other way ; I can only go to torments for the salvation of my neighbour. I moan, I
weep, I am terrified, but I cannot do anything else, for it
is Thy love which leads me, and I do not want to part with it; in it I gain hope of salvation, and seeing it within me, I do not despair utterly".

Selections from pages 140 to 149.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"My Soul Thirsts for God, for the Living God", Psalm 41 with Commentary

Red Deer Stag Bleeting

This psalm is one of my favorites. It is read in its
entirety in the services of the Orthodox Church, during
the Royal Hours, the Eve of Theophany and in the Prayers
of the Third Hour. The first two verses are also read in
the Paschal Vigil and in the Burial Service. The second 
verse is quoted in the Trisagion, during the Orthodox
Divine Liturgy. From Grace for Grace p.710

Psalm 42 NASB Source

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession
to the house of God, 

With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.

6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.

8 The Lord will command His loving kindness in the day
time; and His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

9 I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

In the Septuagint this is Psalm 41 and it reads;

"As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so panteth
my soul after Thee, O God.

My soul thirsted for God, the mighty, the living; when shall I
come and appear before the face of God?

My tears have been my bread by day and by night, whilst it is
said to me daily, Where is thy God?

These things have I remembered , and I poured out my soul 
within me; for I shall go to the place of the wondrous tabernacle,
even to the house of God, with a voice of rejoicing and thanksgiving,
yea, the sound of those that keep festival.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why dost thou
disquiet me? 

Hope  in God, for I will give thanks unto Him, he is the salvation
of my countenance, and my God.

Within me my soul hath been troubled ; therefore will I
remember Thee from the land of Jordan and Hermoniem, from the
little mountain.

Deep calleth unto deep at the voice of Thy cataracts; all Thy
billows and Thy waves are gone over me.

By the day the Lord will command His mercy, and by night
His ode shall be with me, my prayer unto the God of my life.

I will say unto God, Thou art my helper. Why hast Thou
forgotten me? And therefore go I downcast face whilst my
enemy afflicted me?

Whilst my bones were broken, mine enemies reproached me,
whilst they said me daily, Where is thy God?

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why dost thou
disquiet me? Hope in God, for I will give thanks unto Him,
He is the salvation of my countenance, and my God."
The Psaler According to the Seventy of Saint David the
Prophet and King p.66, Holy Transfiguration Monastery,
Boston, MA, 2007  ISBN 0-943405-00-9

Commentary selections from Augustine of Hippo,
St Nicholas Cabasilas, St Symeon the New Theologian 
and St Nikolai Velimirovich***

The sons of Korah
"Regarding the title: we have met with the sons of Korah
in other titles of Psalms...Now Korah may have been, as
indeed he was, a certain definite person; and have had
sons who might be called the sons of Korah. Let us, however
search for the secret of which this is the sacrament, so this
name may bring to light the mystery with which it is pregnant.
For there is a great mystery in the event that the name 'the
sons of Korah' is given to Christians.

Why 'sons of Korah'? They are 'sons of the Bridegroom, sons
of Christ' (see Mt. 9:15). Why then does Korah stand for Christ?
Because Korah is equivalent to 'Calvaria' ... Therefore, the sons of
the bridegroom, the sons of His Passion, the sons redeemed by His
blood, the sons of His Cross, who bear on their forehead that 
which His enemies erected on Calvary, are called the sons of
'Korah', to them is this psalm sung as a psalm for 
'instruction'. Let then our understanding be aroused...

With God is the fountain of Life; a fountain that shall never be 
dried up: in His Light is a light that shall never be darkened.
Long for this light: for a certain fountain, a certain light, such
as your bodily eyes do not know, a light for which the inward
eye must be prepared; a fountain, to drink of which the inward
thirst is to be kindled. Run to the fountain; long for the fountain;
but do it not casually; do not be satisfied with running like any
other animal; run 'like the hart'. What is meant by 'the hart'?
Let there be no sloth in the running; run with all your might:
long for the fountain with all your might. For we find in 'the hart'
an emblem of swiftness." Blessed Augustine of Hippo, "On the 

'My soul thirsted for God, the mighty, the living.'
The words of the Trisagion hymn during the Orthodox Divine
Liturgy, 'Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal' "are those of 
the blessed David, who exclaims: 'My soul thirsted for God, the
mighty, the living.' St Nicholas Cabasilas in his Commentary on
the Divine Liturgy

'My tears have been my bread by day and by night
Palm 41, 3rd verse above
"Thus joy kindles my love for the Giver and the One who
transforms me, God - and love causes streams of tears."
St Symeon the New Theologian, Hymns of Divine Love,
Hymn 13
'Deep calleth unto deep, at the voice of Thy cataracts 
'"You lend Your voice to the birds and the midnight murmur
to the lake. You have lent a voice to every throat, and have put
a story into every creature. I am surrounded by your heralds,
as a student by many teachers, and I listen to them tirelessly
from dawn until dusk. O Lord Master of the voice, speak more
clearly through your heralds!"...

"The vocal cords belong to You, and You uttered the first sound
that began to tremble in the deafness and formlessness of
nothingness, and it broke into countless sounds and heralds, as
a thundercloud breaks into rain drops." St Nikolai Velimirovich
in Prayers by the Lake (XXVII)

HartA male deer, especially a male red deer over five years old.

Maskil: "Some psalms are called "maskil" (maschil) because
in addition they impart wisdom. Most notable of these is
Psalm 142 which is sometimes called the "Maskil of David",
others include Psalm 32 and Psalm 78 (*) The term derives
from maskil meaning "enlightened" or "wise".
* McKenzie, Steven L. (2000). King David: A Biography.
New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 39–40

*** from Grace for Grace p.144 to 147, Johanna Manley,
St Vladimir Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 2003
ISBN 0-9622536-1-8

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Grand Inquisitor, a scene from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Grand Inquisitor is wrong! Not few, but many, have
taken up the cross and followed Him who is Love. They
have drunk from the cup of suffering that He Himself 
emptied, and have also gladly shed their blood for Him. 
"These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He
goes" Rev 14:4 NASB

"You! Is it You?", the inquisitor asks, knowing very well
the Presence of Whom he stands. But the Lord's eyes
still meekly beckon, still humbly knock at the door of
a hardened heart, 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and
I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn
from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you
will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and 
My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NASB

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Brothers Karamazov By Fyodor Dostoevsky, a Powerful Translation

This book is available from Amazon

Editorial Reviews from the Amazon page. plus my review.


"It may well be that Dostoevsky's [world], with all its 
resourceful energies of life and language, is only now--and
through the medium of this translation--beginning to come
home to the English-speaking reader." --John Bayley, 
The New York Review of Books

"Heartily recommended to any reader who wishes to come
as close to Dostoevsky's Russian as it is possible."
--Joseph Frank, Princeton University

"Far and away the best translation of Dostoevsky into English
that I have seen . . . faithful . . . extremely readable . . . gripping."
--Sidney Monas, University of Texas

My Review
I heard a lot about Dostoevsky when I was becoming Orthodox,
how his magnum opus 'The Brothers Karamazov' is the very
embodiment of Orthodox life, mindset, outlook and reality; sin
and virtue, light and darkness brilliantly portrayed.

But I was never able to read the book. The translation I had
seemed dry and artificial, so I kept looking around for an edition
that would captivate my interest.

Then I found this translation. Needless to say that 'gripping' is
an understatement. I am enthralled.

Read for example, the description of the author's hero, Alexei
Fyodorovich in p.19. Dostoevsky sees life and human character
with Orthodox eyes. He values and rejoices in the virtue
observed and experienced in the countenance of those shining
with the Presence of Christ, not only in the lives of those like 
Elder Zosima, but also in the most unexpected places, in 
suffering borne with fortitude and faith.

Dostoevsky observes darkness with tears in his eyes, without
judging. His description of the desolation of a life marred by
sin, of humanity torn, broken and disfigured, pierces the heart.
There is so much pain in the world.

No one who has not encountered the Lord, who has not had the
eyes of his soul opened 
by the light of the living Christ, could
make the observations 
that the author makes or could 
appreciate as he does, what is truly great in the human heart. 

Alexei Fyodorovich 
"In his childhood and youth he was not very effusive, not 
even very talkative, not from mistrust, not from shyness
or sullen unsociability, but even quite the contrary, from
something different, from some inner preoccupation, as
it were strictly personal, of no concern to others, but so
important for him that because of it he would,as it were,
forget others. But he did love people; he lived all his life,
it seemed, with complete faith in people, and yet no one 
ever considered him either naive or a simpleton. 

There was something in him that told one, that convinced
one (and it was so all his life afterwards) that he did not
want to be a judge of men, that he would not take judgment
upon himself and would not condemn anyone for anything. 
It seemed, even, that he accepted everything without the 
least condemnation, though often with deep sadness...
Indeed everyone loved this young man wherever he
appeared, and it was so even in his earliest childhood...

He never remembered an offense...And he did not look
as if he had accidentally forgotten or intentionally forgiven
the offense; he simply did not consider it an offense, and
decidedly captivated the boys and conquered them."

Please, do not deprive yourself of something wonderful,
and read this masterpiece.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Light or Darkness, a Choice that Must Be Made with the Heart

All the circumstances of our lives; past, present and future, are an opportunity to make the disposition of our hearts manifest.

We must choose between light or darkness. This choice is not to be made merely by a decision of our reasoning brains but by the innermost movements of our hearts. How often do we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are choosing wisely because we agree that virtue is worth pursuing, but when pressed-upon by our circumstances, our hearts manifest the darkness inside and we knowingly or unknowingly embrace that darkness and act on it.

While we are still alive, there is much we can do to purify
ourselves, with God's Grace and the wise use of our free will. Therefore let us occupy ourselves with the one

thing needful, to attend to the inner healing of our
soul that it may lean towards the light and reject 
the darkness.

In the book 'The Gurus the Young Mand and Elder Paisios', by Dionysios Farasiotis p.238-242, St Herman Press 2008, we read the most amazing description of that moment when a searching soul is presented with the terrifying choice, eternal life or eternal death.

"The Choice between Light and Darkness"
One afternoon at the beginning of Holy Week, having made a stop in Thessaloniki, I was by myself in our home there, when, suddenly, my surroundings vanished. 

There were no images to be seen, sounds to be
heard, or objects to be touched. My five senses had ceased functioning. It was as though the light switch
had been flicked and the room plunged into total darkness.

My mind turned its full attention to a spiritual realm that it found utterly riveting and captivating. In one direction, I saw a soft but intense light- brilliant yet gentle. In the other direction, I saw a thick, cavernous darkness. Initially, I turned my attention towards the awesome, yet fearful, darkness. It made my 
flesh crawl, but I was overcome by curiosity, the desire to understand what it was. My mind advanced towards the darkness, and I began to sense the magnitude of its negation. 

The deeper I went, the greater this negation became, and the thicker the darkness. It had a vast power and, if I dare put it this way, a certain grandeur. It represented a negative perspective on reality, un-hesitatingly extending into reality as depth, even as the light
stretched infinitely into reality as height. On one side, there was immense love; on the other immense hatred. 

The light was overflowing with unconditional altruism, while the darkness pulled away in utter self-centeredness.

Though I could not see into the darkness, I could feel the presence of souls in it, leaping about and shrieking with insane, wicked laughter as they were pulled deeper and deeper into the ocean of darkness , until the sound of their voices disappeared altogether. Frightened by this savage madness, I headed towards the light, seeking its protection. Just reaching its outskirts, I felt the
relief of having being rescued from a grave danger.

Although I didn't advance very far at all into the darkness, I was able to fill the depths of its evil ocean. I could understand the very essence of the enticing power of sin to tempt, as well as its laughable powerlessness, utter dependence, and shadowy non-existence. The darkness,I saw, is fearsome when it has won you over, but it is absurd and feeble when you reject it. It can n
ot defeat even a small child if he does not fall on his own.

In the same way, I did not advance far into the light- only so to speak, skating its edge -but even there I felt confident and comforted by a fullness of life, peace, joy, and knowledge. The light loved me greatly in spite of my unworthiness and granted me its gifts, gifts I never dreamed existed.

At this point, I realized that the light created the world and every living being. The existential space in which each person dwells is itself a creation fashioned by the light, which also fills and permeates these spaces. One being decided to stay outside of the existential space created by the light, thus creating a sort of space for itself, though only by denying the light, turning from it and driving it away. The darkness has no existence of its own, but only in that it denies the ever-existing and sovereign light....

Just as the light's love wishes to unite all things, being the source of existence and creation, so the hatred of the darkness wants to divide all things, being the source of non-existence and destruction.

Within a matter of minutes, I had received a lesson of immeasurable depth. It was not only a revelation beyond words, of subtle differences of profound meaning and great importance, but also -and even more- a test and trial of the deepest inclinations and intentions of my heart, to see whom I would follow and whom I would leave behind. Fortunately, although my heart initially moved towards the darkness, it ultimately found repose in the light- and fortunately, the light still accepted me."

Available here
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Recommended Reading

  • A Commentary On The Divine Liturgy by St. Nicholas Cabasilas, ISBN: 0-913836-37-0
  • A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos Trans. by Effie Mavromichali, ISBN: 960-7070-31-3
  • A Spiritual Psalter or Reflections On God excerpted by St. Theophan the Recluse from the works of St. Ephraim the Syrian, Trans. by Antonina Janda, ISBN 0-912927-40-2
  • Against False Union ( with a prologue by Photios Kontoglou) by Alexander Kalomiros, Trans. by George Gabriel, ISBN: 0-913026-49-2
  • Akathist To Jesus Conqueror of Death, by St Nikolai Velimirovich, Trans. by Interklima, Copyright 2009, English Edition, by St Paisius Monastery, Safford, AZ
  • An Athonite Gerontikon by Archimandrite Ioannikios, Holy Monastery of St Gregory Palamas Kouphalia, Greece 1991
  • Byzantine Theology by John Meyendorff, ISBN: 0-8232-0967-9
  • Christ Our Way and Our Life by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 1-878997-74-2
  • Christ The Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene, ISBN 0-938635-85-9
  • Commentary on The Gospel of St Luke by St Cyril of Alexandria Trans. by R.Payne Smith, Studion Publishers, Inc. ISBN:0-943670-01-2
  • Concerning Frequent Communion by Nikodemos the Hagiorite, Trans. by George Dokos, ISBN: 960-86778-5-8
  • Confronting Controlling Thoughts by Antony M. Coniaris, ISBN: ISBN: 1-880971-88-7
  • Conversations with Children by Sister Magdalen, ISBN: 1-874679-21-5
  • Counsels from the Holy Mountain by Elder Ephraim of Philotheou, ISBN: 0-9667000-2-3
  • Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria, Trans. by Sebastian Brock, ISBM: 0-87243-173-8
  • Dance, O Isaiah by Constantine Platis, unknown printing 2000
  • Diary Of A Pilgrimage from the Ancient Christian Writers series, by Egeria, Trans. by George E. Gingras, ISBN: 0-8091-0029-0
  • Drinking from the Hidden Fountain by Thomas Spidlik, ISBN: 0-87907-348-9
  • Elder Ephraim of Katounakia Trans by Tessy Vassiliaou-Christodoulou, ISBN: 960-7407-33-4
  • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Counsels, Spiritual Awakening vol 2, Trans by Fr. Peter Chamberas, Holy Monastery 'Evangelist John The Theologian' Souroti, Greece 2007
  • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Counsels, With Pain And Love for Contemporay Man vol1, Trans by Cornelia A. Tsakiridou & Maria Spanou, Holy Monastery 'Evangelist John The Theologian' Souroti, Greece 2006
  • Epistles by Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Holy Monastery of the Evangelist John the Theologian, Souroti, Greece 2002
  • Father Arseny Trans. by Vera Bouteneff, ISBN 0-88141-180-9
  • Flame in the Snow, A Life of St Seraphim of Sarov by Julia de Beausobre, ISBN: 0-87243-223-8
  • From St. Isaac The Syrian to Dostoyevsky by Archimandrite Vasileios, Trans. by Dr.Elizabeth Theokritoff, ISBN: 1-896800-34-3
  • Grace For Grace: The Psalter And The Holy FathersCompiled and Edited by Johanna Manley, ISBN: 0-9622536-1-8
  • Hesychia and Theology by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Sister Pelagia Selfe, ISBN: 978-960-7070-60-9
  • His Life is Mine by Archimandrite Sophrony, ISBN: 0-913836-33-8
  • I Love Therefore I Am by Fr. Nicholas V. Sakharov, ISBN: 0-88141-236-8
  • In The Light of Christ, St Symeon The New Theologian by Archbishop Basil Krivocheine Trans. by Anthony P. Gythiel, ISBN 0-913836-91-5
  • Isaac of Ninaveh ( Isaac The Syrian) The Second Part, chapters IV-XLV, Trans. by Sebastian Brock, ISBN: 90-6831-709-1
  • Missionary Lettersof Saint Nikolai Velimirovich vol 1, Trans. by Hierodeacon Serafim, New Gracanica Monastery, Grayslake, IL
  • Monastic Wisdom, The Letters of Elder Joseph The Hesychast, ISBN: 0-9667000-0-7
  • Mount Athos Renewal in Paradise by Graham Speake, ISBN: 0-300-093535
  • Nil SorskyTrans. and Edited by George A. Maloney, ISBN: 0-8091-9810-7
  • Not of This World,Compiled and Edited by James S. Cutsinger, ISBN: 0-941532-41-0
  • On Prayer by Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov Rosemar Edmonds, ISBN 0-88141-194-9
  • On The Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Trans. by John Behr, ISBN: 0-88141-174-4
  • On The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ by St Maximus The Confessor, Trans. by Paul M. Blowers & Robert Louis Wilken, ISBN: 0-88141-249-x
  • On The Human Condition by St Basil The GreatTrans. by Nonna Verna Harrison, ISBN: 0-88141-294-5
  • On The Incarnation by St. Athanasius, ISBN: 0-913836-40-0
  • On The Mother of God by Jacob of Serug, ISBN: 0-88141-184-1
  • Once Delivered to The Saints by Fr. Michael Azkoul, ISBN: 0-913026-84-0
  • Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by Father Justin Popovich Trans. by Asterios Gerosterios, ISBN: 1-884729-02-9
  • Orthodox Psychotherapy by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Esther Williams, ISBN: 960-7070-27-5
  • Orthodox Spiritual Life According to Saint Silouan The Athonite by Harry Boosalis, ISBN: 1-878997-60-2
  • Orthodox Spirituality and The Philokalia by Placide Deseille Trans. by Anthon P. Gythiel, ISBN 978-0-9717483-7-8
  • Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, ISBN 960-7070-20-8
  • Passions and Virtues According to Saint Gregory Palamas by Anestis Keselopulos, ISBN: 1-878997-75-0
  • Patristic Theology by John S. Romanides, ISBN 978-960-86778-8-3
  • Prayers by the Lake by St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Serbian Orthodox Metropolinate of New Gracanica, Grayslake, IL 1999
  • Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy by John McGuckin, ISBN: 0-88141-259-7
  • Santa Biblia Antigua Version de Casiodoro De Reina Revisada por Cipriano de Valera(1602) Revision de 1960, Holman Publishers 2008
  • St John of Damascus, The Fathers of the Church series, Trans. by Frederic H. Chase, Jr., ISBN: 0-8132-0968-4
  • St Seraphim of Sarov, A Spiritual Biography by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, ISBN: 1-880364-13-1
  • St Silouan The Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, ISBN 0-88141-195-7
  • St. Symeon The New Theologian, On The Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses, Trans. by Alexander Golitzin 3 vols. ISBN: 0-88141-142-6 and - 143-4, and 144-2
  • Standing In God's Holy Fire by John A. McGuckin, ISBN: 1-57075-382-2
  • Symeon The New Theologian, The Discourses, Classics of Western Spirituality, ISBN: 0-8091-2230-8
  • Symeon The New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Discourses and The Three Theological Chapters, Trans. by Dr. Paul McGuckin, Cistercian Publications Inc. 1982
  • The Acquisition of The Holy Spirit by I.M. Kontzevitch, ISBN: 0-938635-73-5
  • The Adam Complex by Dee Pennock, ISBN: 1-880971-89-5
  • The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac The Syrian, Trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, ISBN: 0-913026-55-7
  • The Authentic Seal by Archimandrite Aimilianos, ISBN: 960-85603-3-0
  • The Book of Mystical Chapters, Trans. and introduced by John A. McGuckin, ISBN: 1-59030-007-6
  • The Boundless Garden by Alexandros Papadiamantis Edited by Lambros Kamperidis and Denise Harvey, ISBN 978-960-7120-23-6
  • The Church Fathers ( Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, published by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody Massachusetts, 37 vol. set
  • The Enlargement of The Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 0-9774983-2-8
  • The Faith of Chosen People by St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Free Serbian Diocese of America and Canada, Grayslake, IL 1988
  • The Faith of The Saints , A Catechism by St. Nikolai Velimirovich, ISBN:1-932965-06-8
  • The Fifty Spiritual Homilies, Pseudo-Macarius, ISBN: 0-8091-0455-5
  • The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysios Farasiotis, ISBN: 978-1-887904-16-2
  • The Heart by Archimandrite Spyridon Logothetis, ISBN 960-86639-4-6
  • The Hidden Man of The Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 978-0-9800207-1-7
  • The Holy Bible NKJV, Thomas Nelson, 1992
  • The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas by Christopher Veniamin, 2 vols. ISBN: 1-878997-67-X; ISBN: 1-878997-68-X
  • The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus Edited by Holy Transfifuration Monastery 1979, ISBN 0-943405-03-3
  • The Life of St. Anthony by St. Athanasius the Great, Eastern Orthodox Books, Willits, CA
  • The Lives of The Holy Prophets by Holy Apostles Convent, ISBN: 0944359-12-4
  • The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain by Hieromonk Alexander Golitzin, ISBN: 1-878997-48-3
  • The Luminus Eye by Sebastian Brock, ISBN: 0-87907-524-4
  • The Mind of the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Esther Williams, ISBN: 960-7070-39-9
  • The One Thing Needful by Archbishop Andrei of Novo- Diveevo, ISBN: 91-2927-29-1
  • The Orthodox Ethos, Studies in Orthodoxy Edited by A.J. Philippou, Hollywell Press Oxford 1964
  • The Orthodox New Testament 2 vols., Published by The Holy Apostles Convent 1999, ISBN: 0-944359-17-5 & 0-944359-14-0
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware Vol 4 ISBN: 0-571-11727-9
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware Vol2 ISBN: 0-571-15466-2
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos WareVol 3 ISBN: 0-571-17525-2
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Textcompiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware, Vol 1 ISBN: 0-571-13013-5
  • The Philokalia: Master Reference Guide Compiled by Basileios S. Stapakis, Trans by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, ISBN: 1-880971-87-9
  • The Prologue of Ohrid, Trans. by Fr. Timothy Tepsic, vol 1 ISBN: 978-0-9719505-0-4; vol 2 ISBN: 978-0-9719505-1-1
  • The Psalter Trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, ISBN: 0-943405-00-9
  • The Spiritual World of St Isaac the Syrian by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan 2000
  • The Way of A Pilgrim R.M. French, ISBN 345-24254-8-150
  • We Shall See Him As He Is by Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov, ISBN 0-9512786-4-9
  • Wisdom. Let Us Attend: Job, The Fathers, and The Old Testament by Johanna Manley, ISBN: 0-9622536-4-2
  • Words of Life by Archimandrite Sophrony, Trans. by Sister Magdalen, ISBN1-874679-11-8
  • Writings from The Philokalia On Prayer of The Heart, Trans. by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, ISBN: 0-571-16393-9